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Ebru Timtik award winners named by IBA
Ebru Timtik

27 May 2024 / rule of law Print

Ebru Timtik award winners named by IBA

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and 17 international civil society organisations have released a report on fair trials and announced the Ebru Timtik award winners.

The Ebru Timtik Award was created to honour the memory of the prominent female lawyer (pictured) and member of the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD), who was sent to prison on 20 March 2019 in Türkiye, after a trial where basic procedural safeguards were ignored.

Inconsistent testimony

Ebru Timtik’s conviction was based on the testimony of anonymous witnesses, many of whom gave inconsistent evidence.

The defects in the trial process, which reflected the systemic fair trial issues Timtik had witnessed and fought against, led the lawyer to start a hunger strike protest in prison.

On 27 August 2020 Ebru Timtik died while continuing to protest the lack of respect for fundamental fair trial principles in the criminal justice system in Türkiye.

On 14 June last year, over 300 human rights lawyers, judges, reporters and associations worldwide attended the third International Fair Trial Day (IFTD) and Ebru Timtik Award.

The event in Mexico was co-hosted by IBAHRI and partnering international civil society organisations.

Human rights defenders

The event brought together lawyers, human rights defenders, victims and academics from Mexico as panellists, as well as members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights as well as the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Margaret Satterthwaite.

Its report summarises the issues addressed at the event, especially those relating to the fair trial abuses and violations occurring in Mexico.

The panellists addressed issues such as:

  • Excessive use of pretrial detention and constitutional requirement that judges impose mandatory pre-trial detention on some crimes,
  • Attacks on judicial independence which many courts and judges are facing,
  • Lack of justice in cases of enforced disappearances and torture,
  • Unequal access to justice, and
  • Cost for women and indigenous peoples.

The Ebru Timtik Award was given by Diego García-Sayán (former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers) to two distinguished female lawyers: Alicia de los Ríos and Ana Yeli Pérez Garrido.

Enforced disappearance

Alicia de los Ríos is a lawyer and historian who has dedicated her life to the search for her mother, a victim of enforced disappearance in the 1970s.

Rios has demanded justice for her mother and the more than 100,000 other disappeared persons in Mexico.

Ana Yeli Pérez Garrido is a lawyer who advocates for women’s rights who has represented women, girls and adolescents who have been victims of torture and sexual and family violence, as well as victims of femicide and attempted femicide.

International Fair Trial Day was established in 2021, with the endorsement of more than 100 legal associations across the world, to be observed every year on 14 June.

It raises awareness of the plight of those in countries where fair trial principles are not respected.

The right to a fair trial has long been recognised as a fundamental human right.

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